Last March I spontaneously escaped Hanoi’s grotty weather and flew down to Hoi An for a long weekend. Alone. This year I planned a bit further in advance and booked a flight as soon as we returned from our Tet trip to Cambodia. The weather in March this year wasn’t quite as bad but the break was still welcome: Paul had been laid up in bed for weeks with a knee injury and we’d had a stressful office move, so I was ready for a bit of R&R and me time.
The place I stayed in last year has apparently gone downhill — as Caroline put it, “Coconut is effin awful now – loads of gap yar retards with Honda Wins doing the buffalo trail and whining about the price of a chip.” — but fortunately there was another cheap beach option: a small complex of four new bungalows at the southern end of An Bang beach for just US$20 a night. The room was basic but good for the price, and only a few minutes walk from the beach. It was quite a trek from the main action on An Bang beach though, so a bicycle came in handy.
I spent some time each day sunbathing with a good book on the beach but also managed to fit in a nose around some potential wedding venues and guest accommodation and a 1/2 day street food tour, comprising 19 different dishes. I have listed them below for prosperity. I ate well all weekend of course, thanks to recommendations including the fish carpaccio at Soul Kitchen and a lovely French dinner at Sea Shells.
I ate (and drank):
- Bún nạm (Noodle soup with beef muscle)
- Cháo dinh dưỡng
- Bánh cuốn
- Cháo vịt (Duck congee)
- Mì cao lầu
- Bánh Bèo (Rice cake with shrimp paste)
- Ốc hút (Sucking snail )
- Bánh kẹp trứng (Vietnamese pizza)
- Nem Chua (Fermented pork paste)
- Bánh kẹp (Coconut rice paper with shallot, beef and chilli)
- Bánh bông hồng trắng (White Rose)
- Che bap (Sweetcorn sweet soup)
- Bánh căn or Bánh khọt (Fried rice pan cake)
- Bún thịt nướng (Grilled pork with noodles)
- Cơm gà (Chicken Rice)
- Bánh đậu xanh nhân thịt (Green bean biscuit)
- Trứng vịt lộn (Duck fetus egg)
- Banh mì Phượng (The Hội an Burger)
- Caphe sua da Sài gòn (Coffee with condensed milk)